The Pyramid of Khafre, also known as the Pyramid of Chefren, is the second-largest of the ancient Egyptian pyramids of Giza and the tomb of the fourth-dynasty pharaoh Khafre (Chefren).
The pyramid is built of horizontal courses. The stones used at the bottom are very large, but as the pyramid rises, the stones become smaller, becoming only 50 cm (20 in) thick at the apex. The courses are rough and irregular for the first half of its height but a narrow band of regular masonry is clear in the midsection of the pyramid. Casing stones cover the top third of the pyramid, but the pyramidion and part of the apex are missing.
The bottom course of casing stones was made out of pink granite but the remainder of the pyramid was cased in Tura Limestone. Close examination reveals that the corner edges of remaining casing stones are not completely straight, but are staggered by a few millimeters. One theory is that this is due to settling from seismic activity. An alternative theory postulates that the slope on the blocks was cut to shape before being placed due to the limited working space towards the top of the pyramid.
Inside the Pyramid
Two entrances lead to the burial chamber, one that opens 11.54 m (38 ft) up the face of the pyramid and one that opens at the base of the pyramid. These passageways do not align with the centerline of the pyramid, but are offset to the east by 12 m (39 ft). The lower descending passageway is carved completely out of the bedrock, descending, running horizontal, then ascending to join the horizontal passage leading to the burial chamber.
There is a subsidiary chamber, equal in length to the c.412"-long King's Chamber of the Khufu pyramid, that opens to the west of the lower passage, the purpose of which is uncertain. It may be used to store offerings, store burial equipment, or it may be a serdab chamber. The upper descending passage is clad in granite and descends to join with the horizontal passage to the burial chamber. The burial chamber was carved out of a pit in the bedrock. The roof is constructed of gabled limestone beams. The chamber is rectangular, 14.15 m by 5 m (46.4 ft x 16 ft), and is oriented east-west. Khafre’s sarcophagus was carved out of a solid block of granite and sunk partially in the floor. Another pit in the floor likely contained the canopic chest.
The Pyramid Complex
Along the centerline of the pyramid on the south side was a satellite pyramid, but almost nothing remains other than some core blocks and the outline of the foundation. To the east of the Pyramid sat the mortuary temple. It is larger than previous temples and is the first to include all five standard elements of later mortuary temples: an entrance hall, a columned court, five niches for statues of the pharaoh, five storage chambers, and an inner sanctuary. There were over 52 life size statues of Khafre, but these were removed and recycled, possibly by Rameses II. The temple was built of megalithic blocks (the largest is an estimated 400 tonnes), but it is now largely in ruins.